LIVE UPDATES | Ukraine: Fierce battle for key cities

Kyiv, Ukraine — An intense battle is taking place in the main city of eastern Ukraine, Siviero Donetsk, a regional governor said.

The governor of Luhansk, Shershi Heyday, said that Russian troops have entered the suburbs and are advancing towards nearby Lysichansk. Two civilians were killed and five others injured in the latest Russian shelling, he said on Monday.

The Ukrainian military also said that Russian forces were strengthening their positions in the northeastern and southeastern suburbs of West Viro Donetsk and adding equipment and ammunition in the area to advance their offensive.

Sievierodonetsk has been a key target of Russia’s offensive in the industrial heartland of eastern Ukraine’s Donbass. The city was once the administrative center of the Luhansk region, which together with the neighboring Donetsk region constitutes the Donbass.


The main developments of the Russian-Ukrainian war:

– EU fights Russia’s oil ban as leaders gather

– Ukrainian war fuels rising food prices and hunger in Africa

– Ukraine, Russia fighting in the east as Zelensky visits the front


Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at


Other developments:

BRUSSELS — European Union leaders will gather on Monday to show fresh solidarity with Ukraine, but disagreements over whether to target Russian oil in a slew of new sanctions are showing how far the bloc can go in helping the war-torn country. How far is the limit.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who will address 27 heads of state and government by videoconference tonight, has repeatedly asked the EU to target Russia’s lucrative energy sector and deprive Moscow of billions of dollars in daily supply payments.

But Hungary is leading a group of countries — along with Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria — that are dependent on Russian oil and cannot afford to take such steps.

The EU has imposed five rounds of sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine. The sixth package was announced on May 4, but the hold on oil was an embarrassment for the EU. Ahead of the summit, officials suggested that a solution could be found by targeting oil transported by ships and putting out fires for Hungary’s so valuable pipeline oil.


BERLIN – Germany’s ruling party and the main opposition parties have reached an agreement to advance the dramatic increase in defense spending announced by Chancellor Olaf Schultz three months ago.

Scholz told German lawmakers three days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began that the country would put 100 billion euros ($107 billion) into its military special fund and boost defense spending to more than 2 percent of GDP — a move it has long held. The measures taken are lagging behind.

Scholz wants to anchor the special fund in the constitution. That requires a two-thirds majority in both houses of parliament, meaning the prime minister needs the support of the centre-right opposition coalition bloc.

Negotiations on the issue were bogged down in details, but the two sides reached a deal on Sunday night that cleared the way for the fund to be brought to parliament. Among other things, cyber defense funding and support for partner countries will come from Germany’s regular budget rather than a special fund.


MOGADISHU, Somalia — Households across Africa are paying about 45 percent more for wheat flour as Russia’s war in Ukraine hampers exports from the Black Sea.

In some countries, such as Somalia, more than 90% of the wheat comes from Russia and Ukraine. This has forced many people to substitute wheat for other grains. But the United Nations has warned that prices are about to rise as many parts of Africa face drought and hunger.

The United Nations has warned that an estimated 13 million people in the Horn of Africa are facing acute hunger due to persistent drought. The head of the World Food Programme says Russia’s war against Ukraine is “a disaster on top of disaster” for the world’s poor.

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